To The Editor

February 9, 2010

By Contributor

Tent City 4

Thank you for showing a glimpse of the lives of real people and their difficulties

I cannot thank you enough for your excellent articles on the presence of Tent City 4 in Issaquah.

Your portrayal of the real people who make up that community, the difficulties they face and the enormous effort it takes to overcome “houselessness” in today’s collapsing economy goes a long way to overcome the prejudice and ignorance that comprises much of the public speech these days about our sisters and brothers on the streets.

As one of many who were privileged to help move our new neighbors in, I saw a glimpse of how much work it takes to survive in the wet, cold and limited privacy of a tent community. We’ve had the pleasure of meeting a few of the residents so far in our weekly Thursday lunch at the Community Hall, and invite any of our neighbors, housed or not, to join us at the table (from noon – 1 p.m.) to get to know some of the Tent City folks.

May their stories give us the strength and courage to organize ourselves to provide safe, healthy, warm housing for all.

Wes Howard-Brook


Klahanie Park

If city of Issaquah doesn’t have the money for upkeep, let Sammamish have it

I have been reading the articles and watching the City Council meetings about the annexation of Klahanie Park.

Having heard each department head for Issaquah describe the painful budget cuts for 2010, plus staff cuts, I do not understand how Issaquah could possibly afford the maintenance of this large, complex park. We aren’t getting streets repaired, we have little staff to maintain our current open space (one person is responsible for all and works like crazy, but it is a job for about six full-time people), and all of us are paying increased water rates to even support our water fund. We simply cannot afford Klahanie Park.

The county has no money for Klahanie Park.

Sammamish wants Klahanie Park!

Clearly, Klahanie residents have a large historic investment in this park. It is unreasonable that after all of their years of care and feeding, they could be cut off from the park they have nurtured. Maybe the best place for concerned Klahanie residents to place their energies is in getting representation within Sammamish for Klahanie Park.

Frankly, the city of Sammamish should step up and offer a Klahanie Park Board that has veto power, populated with one-half Klahanie residents in the interlocal maintenance agreement that is currently being created. (Or some other idea that gives Klahanie residents a large measure of control.)

Imagine Klahanie residents actively wanting their park to be a part of Sammamish because they know, in advance, that they are being treated with respect and given a large say. Is Sammamish that smart?

Connie Marsh


Pledge of Allegiance

A government function remains an inappropriate location for pledge

A recent writer acknowledges that since we are such a diverse culture in the U.S. that we can offend others with our differences, yet his solution is to dismiss those in the minority, telling them to politely sit by quietly when offended.

We are all free to believe and exercise our beliefs as we choose. Cite the Pledge of Allegiance at the Veterans of Foreign Wars, pray at your church or in your home, acknowledge your god in your daily life, but just don’t do it at a public, government function where others not sharing your view are forced to be involved in it.

This is not about the rights of the majority being trampled, and this argument is an offensive ruse deflecting from the group whose rights are really being trampled by mob rule.

We had this discussion in March 2007, too. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. When will the City Council and school board become effective government and break this cycle by dropping the Pledge of Allegiance?

Michael T. Barr


First Amendment protects everyone to worship as they please, not just atheists

It always amazes me when people like Michael Barr complain about the Pledge of Allegiance. While Barr, an atheist, shows no tolerance for other religions, that he wrote the comment he did shows he firmly believes others should show tolerance of his religion.

That he expects other religions to be tolerant of his religion, while he shows no tolerance for other religions, is mindful of Germany under Hitler, when the slaughtering of millions was justified because of their religious beliefs.

Barr needs to remember that the First Amendment not only grants him the right to worship as he chooses, but others also. If he doesn’t like that, there are countries where such tolerance isn’t observed. No doubt he won’t like the reality of those countries either.

Lynn M. Stuter

Nine Mile Falls

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